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Posted Sat Aug 28 2010: from ScienceDaily:
Fertilizer Chemicals Linked to Animal Developmental Woes
Fertilizer chemicals may pose a bigger hazard to the environment -- specifically to creatures that live in water -- than originally foreseen, according to new research from North Carolina State University toxicologists.... [W]ater fleas take up nitrates and nitrites -- common chemicals used primarily in agriculture as fertilizers -- and convert those chemicals into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide can be toxic to many organisms. The study shows that water fleas introduced to fertilizer chemicals in water were plagued with developmental and reproductive problems consistent with nitric oxide toxicity, even at what would be considered low concentrations.... "Nitrite concentrations in water vary across the United States, but commonly fall within 1 to 2 milligrams per liter of water," he says. "We saw negative effects to water fleas at approximately 0.3 milligrams per liter of water." Harmful effects of nitric oxide included developmental delay -- water flea babies were born on schedule but were underdeveloped; some lacked appendages important for swimming, for instance.
[Read more stories about: fertilizer runoff]

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'Doc Michael says:
Those water flea babies are so cwute, even without their widdle appendages.

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